Hill: Ben Macdui
Date: Saturday 17th June 2017
Company: Myself and Becky
Distance: 16.9km, Ascent: 815m
On Friday evening, around 8.30pm, we made a last-minute decision to pack a rucksack and head off to the Cairngorms in the van to allow for an early start the following morning. We arrived at Glenmore around 10.45pm and parked up for the night a short distance beyond. On Saturday morning we made our way up to the Coire Cas car park for an ascent of Ben Macdui. Once suited and booted we were off walking shortly before 7.00am.
The weather was fairly nice at the outset except for blustery winds.
I have walked the track leading out to Ben Macdui several times in the past few years. All going well this would be my fifth ascent of Ben Macdui and Becky's first
On the track leading out to Ben Macdui:
The excellent track made for fast progress up the hill. The wind made the ascent slightly more difficult as we were walking into it, however, on the positive side it kept away the midge.
Coire an Lochain:
As we approached level with Lurcher's Crag, I stopped briefly to photograph a ptarmigan which was sitting still trying to avoid being seen.
Today would be my first ascent of Ben Macdui from this side without also including Cairngorm. Cairngorm was Becky's first Munro, ascended and descended without using the funicular, when she was six.
Looking back to Lurcher's Crag:
As we progressed beyond Lurcher's, the weather was getting better and better as the cloud was dissipating providing us with views across the Lairig to Braeriach and Cairn Toul.
After a one-minute break at one of the cairns, we continued on along the now mostly flat walk out towards Ben Macdui.
A wee break:
It was nice to see Beinn Mheadhoin which is distinctive thanks to its granite tors. I have ascended Beinn Mheadhoin twice previously but
each time was long ago. I definitely need to re-visit.
Heading for Ben Macdui:
As a patch of low cloud dissipated we were presented with an impressive lenticular cloud. This was probably the highlight of the walk.
On reaching the base of the final ascent, it was unfortunately up into the cloud.
Into the clouds:
Alas the clouds did not clear and it was not particularly pleasant at the summit due to strong winds and drizzle. After visiting the trig and toposcope, I decided to head for the remains of sapper's bothy to get some shelter.
At the summit of Ben Macdui:
At the toposcope:
We stayed in the bothy remains for around twenty minutes. Out of the blustery wind, it was not cold.
Shelter from the wind at sapper's bothy:
At the summit we met @StirlingOutdoors from Twitter and had a brief but pleasant chat before returning via our inbound route.
During the walk out, we met lots of walkers heading for Ben Macdui. Thanks to the two
lasses who stopped to congratulate Becky on her ascent of Ben Macdui.
As we made our way down parallel to Fiaciall Ridge little did I know that @ScotlandsMountains would soon be traversing Fiaciall Ridge and @HeavyWhalley would soon be heading up onto the plateau above Loch Avon. The Northern Cairngorms was definitely the place to be to meet mountain Twitterers.
Cliffs of Coire and Lochain:
We were back at the van by 1.00pm so discounting our stops the ascent and descent took a
little over 5Hrs 30Mins.
A good day out depite the blustery winds and low cloud